Many products are equipped with Artificial Intelligence, which enriches both private and professional everyday life on many levels. Thanks to continuously optimised computing power, AI systems are processing information ever faster, with this rapid and ongoing development leading to both opportunities and new challenges in its correct use.
Sylvia Vitale Rotta addressed this topic in her lecture at the symposium "Homo ex Data – Design in the Age of Big Data" on 6 March 2020 at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. Stefan Eckstein presented his approach below in an article for the book of the same name.
Emotion is Key for People
Sylvia Vitale Rotta, Tanzania-born managing director of the French agency Team Créatif Group, noted the negative effects of Big Data in her presentation "Emotion is Key for People":
"Assistance from Big Data devices, no matter how convenient and how individually aimed they might be, can slowly reduce humans to non-thinkers and non-doers, turning them into device-driven Big Data addicts. Artificial Intelligence must not replace us."
"Let's teach ourselves to value our deep emotions and continue to make them play a big part in our actions. This will make humans always ride above Artificial Intelligence."
Nevertheless, Sylvia Vitale Rotta is confident that artificial and human intelligence are distinct:
"Let us not worry. Big Data and Artificial Intelligence will never replace the complexity of humans. AI will, however, help in all the repetitive actions humans and human society do to get certain chores done. It is already dealing with very complex tasks that require a lot of technical handling of Big Data algorithms. However, AI will not reproduce or have the deductive power that human emotions have. And even though it might come close to duplicating human behaviour, it will never achieve the sensibility and the complexity of humans themselves."
Therefore, she argues that while AI is a possibility, designers must be driven by emotion and the complexity of the creative mind in their work:
"Artificial Intelligence is best at helping mankind comprehend the future and better deal with all the challenges that it will bring. As designers we work with emotions and the complexity of the creative mind. Artificial Intelligence can help us create objects that retain emotion and intuitiveness, thus ensuring that our designs will continue to bring a human touch to people's lives. Therefore, let's teach ourselves to value our deep emotions and continue to make them play a big part in our actions. This will make humans always ride above Artificial Intelligence."
Humans and Computers complement each other
Munich-based Stefan Eckstein of Eckstein Design also made the rapid technical development the core of his lecture "Emotion and Intuition – The Intelligence of the Future". He pleaded for an effective cooperation between human and computer:
"Computers and algorithms are taking over tasks in more and more areas, from financial consulting to surgery. And they keep getting better and better, faster and faster. Every five years, computing power increases by a factor of ten; in 30 years’ time, its speed will have increased by about a million times, and I doubt this will apply to humans as well. With this in mind, it doesn’t make sense to see computers as competitors. We should rather find out how humans and computers complement each other and thus work together effectively."
"A new change in consciousness serves to rediscover this human side of intelligence and give it new strength. We designers are particularly in demand here – this is a departure into an exciting age."
The human being should therefore focus on abilities that only they possess: intuition, emotion, creativity and empathy: "It’s not about understanding things better or being able to do more. Instead, the goal is to create new creative connections of consciousness, psyche, and emotions in our brain – because it is precisely in these areas that computers still need a lot of support."
Thus, even in a world of more and more powerful computers, humans would gain in strength: "A new change in consciousness serves to rediscover this human side of intelligence and give it new strength. We designers are particularly in demand here – this is a departure into an exciting age."